Last week I chatted to the amazing Lisa Corduff and feel completely inspired to write this post about how aiming for any level of perfectionism is really not the name of the game, especially when it comes to food.
It’s funny because perfectionism is something I’ve ALWAYS struggled with and I know at times it has pretty much paralysed me in so many areas of my life.
But something interesting happened when I became more health conscious…
After completely revolutionising my diet and being proud as punch that I had been eating “perfectly” results from the naturopath showed that I was effectively holding myself in a heightened state of stress out of my desire to only eat the most perfect organic wholefoods.
After leaving that clinic with tears literally streaming down my face in sheer disbelief and feeling like a complete FAILURE the pieces eventually started falling into place and I discovered a valuable lesson which was that TRUE HEALTH is more than just diet and exercise.
It was a long road to reach this conclusion. For so long I was someone who made health only about these two things because it really is what so many of us are conditioned to believe.
I know now, without any shadow of a doubt, that health is not just about what you eat or how much exercise you manage to get into your day, but also about how you care for yourself on an emotional, mental and spiritual level (and that doesn’t mean meditating all day long, to me it’s more about being present, conscious and connected).
I know many people, like you probably do, who have appeared to eat “perfectly” and have appeared to have done all the “right” things but yet they’ve still suffered through illness, disease and even cancer… And I also strongly believe if more people paid greater attention to the other pillars of achieving great health we would see less disease, less illness and even less cancer.
Food and moving your body in ways that feels good to you are just part of the bigger picture. What you do on a physical level is certainly important but we do ourselves a disservice by not factoring in the other areas as having equal significance.
I want you to know I’ve been at both ends of the food spectrum aswell. Eating a lot of processed foods in order to essentially just make it through the day and even week to becoming so interested in health I went back to school to study health science (something I NEVER thought I would do) to then becoming so strict (and even paranoid) about making sure I only consumed wholefoods that ticked all the boxes but from this I learned something SUPER IMPORTANT. In this state of holding ourselves to a certain level of perfectionism it’s incredibly more difficult for our bodies to be able to function optimally because they’re essentially in flight or fight mode.
This is the bodies survival mode, our respiratory rate increases and blood is moved away from the digestive tract and moved to the muscles and limbs which will require the extra energy for running or fighting the perceived threat. This means we cannot even digest this perfect food we are trying to consume properly (my results from the naturopath confirming this)!
I heard some words last year at an event which will stay with me forever and they were: “everything you do is infused with the consciousness in which you do it”. What the hell does that mean exactly? It means if you are eating something less nutritious but you’re absolutely present, enjoying it and relaxed without entertaining feelings of guilt and judgement about it not being “perfect” it has an entirely different effect on the ability your body has to digest it.
We simply must let go of the idea that food is the only pillar to achieving better health and spend as much time caring for ourselves on the other levels of our being. True health is multi-dimensional.
So how can you do this? Start by making time for yourself. Take more deep breaths. Focus on being present in whatever you are doing more often. Give yourself a break and relax. Focus more on BEING and less on DOING. Speak to yourself in a kind and compassionate way. Forgive others instead of holding grudges. Let go of past hurts. Open yourself up to any healing that needs to occur on a deeper level. Tune inwards. Discover the wisdom held in you body, what would your body say to you if it could speak? Stop beating yourself up about all the things you “should” do and focus more intently on loving and accepting yourself unconditionally. You are good enough, period. Your worth is not based on how much you do – you are inherently worthy.
All my love